We can’t say it enough: Collaboration in health care isn’t just important, it’s essential. Within our Ministry, it’s how we provide the highest quality patient care. But collaboration with partners outside our organization is another way we’re working to transform health care to improve the lives of those we serve.

Our partnerships with the University of Illinois allows us to eliminate silos across disciplines and provide unparalleled levels of resources to bring innovative conceptual ideas into fruition.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine is among the largest public medical schools in the U.S., thereby having a large impact on patient care as well as the training of future physicians. The world-class facility at Jump provides medical students and physician residents from the College of Medicine’s Peoria campus with a unique opportunity to learn and practice critical care skills in a realistic hospital environment without risk to patients.

University faculty have the opportunity to create unique and innovative medical curriculum at Jump, including interdisciplinary education opportunities involving mid-level providers and other health care professions into a team setting.

The University of Illinois College of Engineering is one of the most innovative and top ranked engineering programs in the world. The Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC) provides clinical immersion to engineers and fosters collaborations between engineers and physicians to solve problems in the area of health care.

The work taking place at HSCESC perfectly aligns with the strategy OSF HealthCare and Jump has initiated, pairing engineers and clinicians to transform health care. Our partnership with HCESC is leading to the development of new technologies and health care innovations through the Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation, or Jump ARCHES, program.

Jump ARCHES, a collaborative effort between the U of I College of Engineering and College of Medicine at Peoria, provides grant money to teams of clinicians and engineers working together to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs. Those applying for grants are developing new tools, techniques and devices to enhance medical simulation and education as well as for clinical use and treatment.

Here are the latest Jump ARCHES initiatives in development:

Identifying Fall Risk

Falls are a leading cause of serious injury and death in the elderly, especially when they are at home alone. The University of Illinois Colleges of Engineering and Applied Health Sciences (UIUC) are working with clinicians at Illinois Neurological Institute at OSF HealthCare on a project that will assess fall risks and predict falls using camera-captured motion data of participants in a simulated home environment. The system will allow for targeted intervention in an individual’s home and better train clinicians in fall risk assessment.

Safety and Reliability of Surgical Robots Via Simulation

Use of robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery has increased significantly during the last decade. More than 1.7 million robotic procedures were performed in the U.S. across various health care specialties between 2007 and 2013. A collaborative effort between computer engineers at the U of I and robotic surgeons at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria aims to address the reliability and safety challenges in minimally invasive robotic surgery through innovative solutions focusing on simulation of realistic safety hazard scenarios that occur during surgical procedures.

Improving the Patient Discharge Process

About 20 to 25 percent of patients discharged from hospitals are readmitted within 30 days, costing roughly $42 billion per year to insurance providers, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A team of engineers from the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and a surgeon with OSF HealthCare are developing a framework that will help define the complexity of the total patient discharge system and allow hospitals to evaluate new technology, policy, and communication systems in the construct of training simulation strategies.

Simulation Training for Mechanical Circulatory Support

Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a technique that provides mechanical support to failing heart and/or lungs using a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a patient. The problem is that many surgeons are unfamiliar with the utilization of this treatment in sick patients. A research scientist from the Health Care Engineering Center at UIUC is teaming up with two heart doctors to develop and validate a simulator that will aid in the quick deployment of ECMO for failing heart/lungs.

A Smooth Transition for Advanced Practice Providers

The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians by 2020 while demand is expected to increase 14 percent. OSF HealthCare, with the help of Jump, has launched a 12-month Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Fellowship for newly minted advanced practice nurses and physician assistants specializing in primary care that will better transition them for entry into practice. It’s the first of its kind in Illinois and among a small group training APNs and PAs side by side.

Dr. Matthew Bramlet, director of advanced imaging and modeling for Jump Simulation, is collaborating with engineers from Caterpillar’s Additive Manufacturing Lab to create 3-D printed heart models. Caterpillar’s printers have the ability to 3-D print with a flexible material, allowing surgeons to cut into heart models and practice surgeries. The malleable prints also provide a point of reference for surgeries, something surgeons don’t typically have access to until they are in the operating room.

The collaboration between Caterpillar and Jump has the capability to shorten operating time and accelerate recovery for patients. Jump requests Caterpillar to print hearts only for very rare and complex surgeries.

OSF HealthCare, in partnership with MATTER, a Chicago-based incubator for health care entrepreneurs, opened the OSF Simulation Stage at MATTER in September 2016.

The OSF Stage is a flexible simulation space to test early-stage health care solutions. It has been under development since OSF HealthCare became a founding member of MATTER in November 2014. It’s approximately the size of a hospital room and can be turned into a variety of clinical settings including an ICU, cath lab or procedure room.

The OSF Stage allows health care innovators within MATTER to test their products in a realistic clinical environment, giving them a better understanding of how health care is delivered and how their concepts might impact care.